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Lautenberg, McCarthy Introduce High-Capacity Magazine Ban Measure

Sen. Frank Lautenberg/Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (credit: lautenberg.senate.gov, carolynmccarthy.house.gov)

Sen. Frank Lautenberg/Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (credit: lautenberg.senate.gov, carolynmccarthy.house.gov)

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WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg didn’t waste any time introducing a measure that would limit ammunition magazines to hold ten bullets.

Tuesday was the first day in the 113th Congress that bills could be introduced.

The proposal is one aspect of the sweeping gun control reforms laid out last week by President Barack Obama.

Since the school massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 14 and last summer’s Colorado movie theater shooting rampage, there has been a renewed focus on high-capacity clips and assault weapons.

“The latest tragedy in Newtown was a wake up call for our nation, and now we must now turn our grief into action to reduce further tragedies. It is clearer than ever that there is no place in our communities for military-style supersized magazines like those used inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Aurora, and in Tucson, and I will keep working to reinstate the ban on them,” Lautenberg said in a news release.

Lautenberg first introduced the magazine limit measure two years ago, following the Tucson shooting spree that left then-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords seriously wounded and several others dead. In that rampage, investigators said accused shooter Jared Lee Loughner was able to get off 31 shots in 15 seconds and was subdued when he stopped to reload.

“President Obama’s bold plan to address gun violence included my common-sense proposal to ban high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds, and we will get to work in Congress to pass this bill and other reasonable reforms that protect children and families. This is the kind of sensible reform that has the support of Democrats and Republicans, hunters and responsible gun owners, and it is time for Congress to listen to the American people and put this ban back in place,” the senior senator added.

Lautenberg’s measure has 26 co-sponsors, including all other senators from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

A companion measure was also introduced in the House by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and has 48 co-sponsors. McCarthy’s husband was killed and her son was injured in a 1993 Long Island Rail Road shooting incident.

“Senator Lautenberg and I have reintroduced the bill to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines because they’re the common thread in every major mass shooting in recent history and taking them off the market can have a major impact on saving lives in America. The horrific murders in Newtown have shown how our nation’s lax attitude towards gun violence has gone too far and we must take action to save lives,” said McCarthy.

The “Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act” would prohibit the manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines that have a capacity of, or could be readily converted to accept, more than 10 rounds.

High-capacity magazines were illegal under the federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

Last week, New York became the first state to approve stricter gun control legislation since the Newtown shootings, including a renewed assault weapons ban. Gun rights advocates including the National Rifle Association blasted the measure.

“These gun control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime. While lawmakers could have taken a step toward strengthening mental health reporting and focusing on criminals, they opted for trampling the rights of law-abiding gun owners in New York, and they did it under a veil of secrecy in the dark of night,” the NRA said in a statement in reaction to New York’s new law.

The NRA has also dug in its heels, saying the group is ready to fight against national gun control legislation. The powerful lobbying group has said the focus should be on mental health and education, not what it classifies as impeding on the Second Amendment.

Do you support the 10-bullet restriction? Sound off in the comments section below…